Leicester & District: KP win cup thriller

John Bowness (publicity officer)

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The Leicester & District League’s cup competition finals threw up some exciting matches with two of them needing all nine sets, while no-one was swamped as very often happens.

The most exciting was Knighton Park’s 5-4 victory over Electricity in the Saracen Cup for players graded below 170.

KP’s Rod Pickering lost the first two games easily against Sheriff Makhani but then fought back to take the next three 12-10, 15-13, 12-10. Shirley Pickering followed with a five-game success against Andy Wright to put her team 2-0 to the good, before the Sparks’ Andy Searle entered the fray to defeat Prajesh Patel in yet another set of five games.

Wright beat Rod Pickering to make it 2-2 and it was 3-3 and 4-4 as Searle kept repairing the damage to nullify KP’s successes. At four apiece Shirley Pickering faced Makhani, winning the first two comfortably and then getting home 14-12 in the third for a Park 5-4 success. Searle won three, but in vain.

It was 5-4 also in the Lillian Williamson Trophy, this time Knighton Park on the receiving end despite a fighting maximum from Paul Ducksbury, another in vain, Alec Downes backing him with one. Abbots Road were just that bit deeper in depth with Dave Rana and Abdul Shaikh winning two each and Uzayr Shaikh one.

At 4-4 in this event for those below 115 came the closest of all the nine sets when Uzayr Shaikh defeated Downes 3-2 (11-9, 2-11, 13-11, 12-14, 11-9) and Abbots were home by the narrowest margin.

At the other end of the scale it was once again a Knighton Park versus Electricity tussle for the Rose Johnson Cup, the major event open to all players regardless of grading.

Chris Rogers was the star for the Park in gaining all three, although Reza Kiani won both his that he played, with the match ending at 5-2 to KP. For the Sparks, David Grundy and Andy LeButt each managed to overcome Karen Smith, the latter after losing the first two games.

In the other two competitions Syston Casuals tasted success twice, beating Knighton Park 5-2 in the Corrall Cup (those below 210) and 5-3 against Goons in the Frith Trophy for those below a grading of 140.

Scott Robinson fought a lone battle for Goons in the Frith, winning all three for yet another in-vain maximum, while Syston relied in team depth from Scott Morris two, Ajay Lad two and Terry Hall one.

John Szostak and Chandresh Sodha were both in sparkling form in the Corrall when they both emerged undefeated for Syston, Szostak taking 3 from 3, Sodha 2 from 2. Team-mate Mike James was unlucky to go down twice in the fifth game to Patrick Cox and Zia Malik.

Both semi-finals in the County Association’s Rose Johnson Challenge Bowl, a four-a-side handicap, were comfortable victories with Dan Andrews spearheading Ian’s Wizards to a 300-270 success over KP Nutters. Good support came from Ben Cooke, Eiz Eddin Al Katrib and Ian Knight.

The format is four playing the opposing four one game up to 21 making 16 games in all with each team having a handicap number. In this case the Nutters received 16. This was Winstanley’s first foray into this competition. Andrews finished on plus 57 (84-27).

In the other match KP Young Ones gave The Drifters exactly 100 points but Brajesh Patel, Vishaal Sharda, Zia Malik and Oscar Bentley chiseled away at the lead, taking over in front by game 11 and then going on to win 331-290.

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